To start the the middle frame, Tyler Toffoli and Mark Scheifele traded goals for their respective teams to open the scoring. But a minute and six seconds after Scheifele's equalizing goal, the floodgates started to open in Ottawa's favour.
Shane Prince finished off a partial 2-on-1 to score his fifth goal of the postseason, and added another by tipping home a point shot from Marc-Anthony Zanetti, a deflection that Barrie goaltender Mathias Niederberger never saw.
Although Niederberger looked solid in making 12 first-period saves, the second period pressure from the 67's was too much for the rookie netminder, who still finished the night with 34 saves.
Remy Giftopoulos rounded out the scoring with 20 seconds left, netting his first of the playoffs and Ottawa's third powerplay goal in four chances on the night, surely a good sign for a powerplay that struggled for the better part of the late regular season and first round of the playoffs.
Petr Mrazek had to make a number of tough saves in the opening period, turning away 12 shots just as his counterpart Niederberger did. But from there, Ottawa's goaltender only had to face 10 shots in the final two period, turning aside 21 stops for the win.
Game two for these two teams goes Sunday afternoon in Ottawa, before the two teams head to Barrie on Tuesday and Thursday
Game Sheet can be found here.
Random Thoughts from Behind the Lens:
- Another great game by the entire team. I never get tired of watching them play like this. Although, that first period was really Mrazek's.
- It was good to have Zanetti and Broussard back in the line up. Daniel didn't get a lot of ice time (presumably to ease him back into his game-pace). Their addition helped spread the time around more blue liners. It should be noted that the D were in on every 67's goal (Cardwell 3, Zanetti 1 and Ceci 1).
- Tyler Graovac had another great game and in the process racked up a goal and two assists. His goal pretty much salted the game away for Ottawa.
- My favourite line (Smith, Graovac, Janes) was together for the start of the game and it seemed that they were on the ice every second shift. That is such a hard working combo. At some point Gustavsen and Smith traded spots - still was a gritty line.
- Really good crowd. Thought it might be thinner at the start of a 4-day weekend but over 6,000 faithful were there to cheer their team on. Ottawa really does have the best fans! There were some Barrie fans too.
- The game was down to 3 officials for a bit in the third period while a linesman had to leave the ice for repairs. A couple of stitches later he was back into the game. The crowd cheered his return. I got a peek at the wound - that's gonna hurt for a while.
- Hope everyone is having a great Easter/Passover and looking forward to seeing you on Sunday for game 2.